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					MASTER PLAN REEXAMINATION REPORT BOROUGH OF RUTHERFORD BERGEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY
Prepared For: Borough of Rutherford Planning Board November 20, 2003 Prepared by: Sean Moronski, P.P., A.I.C.P. SCHOOR DEPALMA INC. The original of this report was signed and sealed in accordance with NJSA 45:14A-12 ELECTRONIC COPY ________________________________ Sean Moronski, P.P. LI # 5601 Adopted on: February 19, 2004 Borough of Rutherford Planning Board

2003 BOROUGH OF RUTHERFORD MAYOR AND COUNCIL
Bernadette P. McPherson, Mayor Borough Council George Fecanin, Council President Thomas Arnold Bruce Bartlett Ray Frazier Martha Lozada Michael Matthews

2003 BOROUGH OF RUTHERFORD PLANNING BOARD
Glenn Elliot, Chairman Kenneth Snapp, Vice Chairman Mayor Bernadette P. McPherson Councilman Ray Frazier Rick Gooding Thomas Kuruc Carolyn Smallwood John Traficante John Uhl James Rizzo, Alternate #1 Margaret Watson, Alternate #2 Michael Sartori, Planning Board Secretary Anthony Suarez, Esq., Planning Board Attorney Justin Lizza, P.E., Borough Engineer CONSULTANT Schoor DePalma, Inc. Justin Corporate Center 200 State Highway Nine P.O. Box 900 Manalapan, New Jersey 07726-0900 Sean Moronski, P.P., A.I.C.P. Borough Planner

BOROUGH OF RUTHERFORD Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance Reexamination Report

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.0 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................. 1 REEXAMINATION OF MASTER PLAN...................................................... 2 Problems and Objectives at Time of Adoption of Last Reexamination Report.................................................................................................................. 3 Extent of Increase or Reduction of Problems and Objectives ....................... 8 Extent of Significant Changes in Assumptions, Policies and Objectives .... 12 Specific Changes Recommended for the Master Plan or Zoning Ordinance ............................................................................................ 18 Recommendations Concerning the Incorporation of Redevelopment Plans Adopted............................................................................................................. 21 LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Population Growth (1990-2000) – Borough of Rutherford...........................12 Table 2: Population by Racial and Ethnic Origin (1990-2000) – Borough of Rutherford...........................................................................................12 Table 3: Median Household and Per Capita Income (1990-2000) – Borough of Rutherford...........................................................................................13

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1.0

INTRODUCTION

The Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL) requires every municipality in New Jersey to reexamine the Master Plan and development regulations at least once every six (6) years (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-89) to ensure periodic review of information and changing conditions in order to keep municipal planning efforts current. On December 19, 1977, the Borough adopted its current comprehensive Master Plan. The Planning Board adopted a Master Plan Update and Reexamination Report on January 16, 1997. On April 17, 1997, the Planning Board adopted a Housing Plan Element and Fair Share Plan. A public hearing on the Reexamination Report is not required, but the Planning Board must adopt, by resolution, a report on the findings of such reexamination. The Planning Board must submit a copy of the report and resolution to the Bergen County Planning Board and the Clerks of all adjoining municipalities. The statute sets forth that the reexamination report address five specific areas. These requirements are set forth below: a. Major problems and objectives relating to land development in the Municipality at the time of such adoption, last revision or re-examination, if any; b. Extent to which such problems and objectives have been reduced or have increased subsequent to such date; c. Extent to which there have been significant changes in the assumptions, policies and objectives forming the basis for such plan or regulations as last revised, with particular regard to the density and distribution of population and land uses, housing conditions, circulation, conservation of natural resources, energy conservation, and changes in State, County and Municipal policies and objectives; d. Specific changes recommended for the master plan or development regulations, if any, including underlying objectives, policies and standards, or whether a new plan or regulations should be prepared; and e. Recommendations of the Planning Board concerning the incorporation of redevelopment plans adopted pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, P.L. 1992, c. 79 (C.40A:12 A-1 et al.) into the land use plan element of the municipal master plan, and recommended changes if any, in the local development regulations necessary to effectuate the redevelopment plans of the municipality. This Reexamination Report has been prepared to meet statutory requirements as specified in the MLUL. Said report represents an evaluation of the comprehensive Master Plan Elements and the development regulations, assesses the changes in land use policy since the last Reexamination Report, and recommends any necessary amendments or additions to the Master Plan and development regulations, hereinafter referred to as the “Zoning Ordinance.”

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BOROUGH OF RUTHERFORD Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance Reexamination Report

2.0

REEXAMINATION OF MASTER PLAN

The Borough of Rutherford Master Plan, hereinafter referred to as the “1977 Plan,” consists of a land use element with sections referring to circulation, housing and redevelopment issues. Some of the recommendations outlined in the 1977 Plan were incorporated into Zoning Ordinance amendments adopted by the Mayor and Council in December 1978. These amendments make up much of the Zoning Ordinance under which the Borough regulates development at this time. Since the adoption of the 1977 Plan, the Planning Board reexamined its Master Plan on three occasions: 1982 (adopted September 16, 1982), 1988 (adopted July 21, 1988 and amended August 18, 1988), and 1997. In addition to the 1997 Master Plan Update and Reexamination Report, hereinafter referred to as the “1997 Report,” the Planning Board adopted a Housing Element on June 21, 1990. The 1997 Report consists of the following sections and elements: Reexamination Report Statement of Goals and Objectives Population and Housing Analysis Relation of Rutherford’s Planning to State, County and Neighboring Plans Historic Sites Existing Land Uses Vacant Land Use Analysis Park Avenue Business District Land Use Recommendations Other planning efforts undertaken by the Borough since the adoption of the 1997 Report include the following: Housing Plan Element and Fair Share Plan – adopted April 17, 1997 Cross Acceptance II Report - 1998 Façade Design Guidelines for Rutherford Downtown Partnership – revised September 16, 1998 Highland Cross Redevelopment Study and Plan - 1998 Station Square: Pedestrian Compatibility Study for the Borough of Rutherford – March 2001 Transit Friendly Communities for New Jersey: Creating a New Station Square – July 2001 Downtown Parking Study - 2003

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2.1

Problems and Objectives at Time of Adoption of Last Reexamination Report

Reexamination Report Recommended Changes The Reexamination Report section of the 1997 Report outlines several specific actions that were recommended for the consideration of the Planning Board as follows: 1. Update the 1977 Land Use Plan Element to address concerns over preservation of existing residential areas, the continued revitalization of the central business district, identification of any transitional parcels for potential redevelopment and recommendations for the best possible development of the few remaining vacant parcels. The impact of closing the Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) campus and potential future uses should be specifically addressed. 2. The Land Use Plan Element should address the Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) proposals prepared by the HMDC, now the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC). 3. Review the Housing Element that was adopted in 1990 and update with current census information as well as any new Council of Affordable Housing (COAH) policies. Recommendations from the 1982 and 1988 Reexamination Reports found to be no longer relevant in the 1997 Report are as follows: Explore the potential for off-street parking at the west end of Union Avenue shopping district between Carmita and Raymond Avenues No longer considering expansion of R-2 Zoning District as recommended in 1978 Plan Student housing to be permitted as outlined in 1982 Reexamination Report (Status of FDU campus at time of 1997 Report precluded any action on this issue.). Areas on the east side of Route 17 labeled in the 1997 Report as “blighted” have been designated as recommended Alcoholic beverage controls have been enacted in the event a referendum should repeal the Borough’s “dry town” status. The 1997 Report recommended a review of potential redevelopment sites to determine if the sites could be declared “areas in need of redevelopment” pursuant to the provisions of the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law. Potential redevelopment areas under consideration at the time of the 1997 Report included the FDU and Boiling Springs sites. Statement of Goals and Objectives A series of general goals and objectives were outlined in the 1997 Report. These goals were reflective of the recommended changes and actions outlined in the Reexamination Report section of the 1997 Report.

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Population and Housing Analysis Population data in the 1997 Report is based on 1990 Census data. This detailed analysis includes the following categories: Population Trends Age Distribution School Enrollments Ethnic Composition Householder Composition Housing Trends Housing Types and Tenure Housing Conditions Housing Costs Economic Characteristics Employment Characteristics These areas were reviewed to provide a demographic overview of Rutherford at the time of the 1997 Report. This analysis was utilized when the Borough updated its Housing Element and Fair Share Plan in April 1997. Relation of Rutherford’s Planning to State, County and Neighboring Plans The 1997 Report updated how Rutherford planning policies relate to the surrounding municipalities and other plans. Municipalities reviewed include the Borough of East Rutherford, the Township of Lyndhurst, the City of Passaic, and the City of Clifton. This section also compared how the Borough’s policies were consistent with those of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan, hereinafter referred to as the “State Plan.” Participation with Bergen County during the Cross-Acceptance Process related to the State Plan is also cited in the 1997 Report. At the time of the 1997 Report, the NJMC (then the HMDC) was preparing the SAMP to guide future development. Included in this section were a series of designations that had been proposed for the Rutherford section under the jurisdiction of the NJMC. Historic Sites A listing of Borough sites considered by the Bergen County Historic Sites Advisory Board to be of “particular historical or architectural interest” was included in the 1997 Report. It was recommended the Borough adopt a Historic Preservation Plan Element with the Planning Board working in cooperation with the Rutherford Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.

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Existing Land Uses This section provided information on the number of dwelling units in the Borough and a general overview of land use in Rutherford. Three specific trends related to land use were outlined as follows: 1. The general land use patterns had remained basically the same as in the 1977 Plan, primarily due to the relative lack of vacant land in the Borough. 2. The process of infill and redevelopment in upland areas west of Route 17 was continuing. Examples of such development included both residential and commercial uses. 3. The development of properties east of Route 17, including office and industrial uses, was continuing. Each trend highlighted specific examples of development since the previous reexamination report in 1988. Vacant Land Use Analysis Based on Borough Tax Assessor records and fieldwork, the 1997 Report outlined the availability of vacant land and its location by zoning district. Less than 15 acres of land was considered “vacant” in the area under the planning jurisdiction of the Borough, referred to as the “Upland” section of Rutherford. Over 3 acres of “Upland” vacant land was considered “undersized” and about 8.5 acres was eligible for subdivision. Almost 320 acres of land in the NJMC area was considered “vacant,” about one-third of the acreage publicly-owned. Further analysis determined how many dwelling units could be developed on the vacant land in the R-1 and R-2 Residential Zoning Districts based on the zoning regulations. The 1997 Report noted that some of the vacant land under NJMC jurisdiction is constrained by lack of accessibility, wetlands and other environmental considerations. Park Avenue Business District This section of the 1997 Report included data from an analysis of the Park Avenue Business District conducted in August 1994. The Business District was defined in terms of the streets and boundaries. A survey of land uses illustrated a wide variety of uses, including residential (27 percent of total acreage), office (17 percent), public/semi-public (14 percent) and retail (14 percent). No single land use category dominated the Business District, illustrating the mixed-use pattern that had developed.

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BOROUGH OF RUTHERFORD Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance Reexamination Report Several trends were cited as related to the Business District, including as follows: 1. The location of public facilities at the gateway points to the Business District. 2. The recommendation for “compact, pedestrian friendly” development. 3. Encouraging uses complimentary to the Williams Center for the Arts and the train station, each a significant asset within the Business District. 4. Maintaining mix of retail, office and related activities. 5. Encouraging first floor retail uses wherever possible. In September 1994, a survey of business types located in the Business District was conducted. The findings were included in this section of the 1997 Report. Land Use Plan Recommendations Several recommendations for the Land Use Plan Element were outlined in the 1997 Report, as follows. 1. Change the designation of the block including the former Bellavia Chevrolet property from “One- and Two-Family Residential” to “Planned Neighborhood Mixed Use” for parcels with frontage along Park Avenue and “Moderate Density Single-Family Residential” for the remainder of the parcels 2. In the event FDU is no longer used as a college campus, change the designation of the campus and out-parcels to reflect the existing surrounding residential neighborhoods. 3. In the event the existing Department of Public Works (DPW) facility is relocated, the current DPW parcels shall be designated as “Planned Commercial Development.” 4. Creation of a “Theater Overlay Zone” in the area surrounding the Williams Center for the Arts. 5. Retain the “Planned Commercial Development” designation for the existing vacant properties on the northern end of the block bounded by Orient Way and Feronia Way. 6. Extend the “Planned Commercial Development” designation to include a triangular area along Erie Avenue between Meadow Road and Feronia Way. Designated properties fronting the west side of Meadow Road from the trestle area to Passaic Avenue as “Three Story Office/Retail.” Properties fronting on the west side of Meadow Road from Passaic Avenue to Wall Field (at the corner of Highland Cross) are proposed to remain “One- and Two-Family Residential.” 7. The Board recommended the concept plan for the Meadows Office Complex located between Route 17 and Veterans Boulevard be incorporated as part of the 1997 Report to indicate potential future development, including a third office tower and hotel (or fourth office tower). An amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to increase the maximum building height from 10 to 12 stories in the Office Research and Distribution Zoning District was recommended.

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BOROUGH OF RUTHERFORD Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance Reexamination Report The Planning Board also recommended the following studies and actions as part of the 1997 Report: 1. Recommended the findings in the proposed SAMP report only with respect to the provision of office-commercial and secondary office/warehouse development within the section of Rutherford under the jurisdiction of the HMDC (now NJMC). 2. Further review and conduct a benefits analysis of the Regional Center designation proposed in the State Plan for Rutherford, Carlstadt, East Rutherford, Wallington and Wood-Ridge. 3. Prepare an Historic Preservation Plan Element incorporating the recommendations contained in the Rutherford Historic Site Survey prepared in 1980-1981 by the Bergen County Historic Sites Advisory Board. 4. Encourage, within the Park Avenue Business District, development of a compact scale and enhancement of pedestrian friendly linkages. Complimentary uses to enhance the Williams Center for the Arts should be encouraged and a mix of retail, office and related activities should be maintained to provide diversity for the Business District. 5. Prepare an updated Housing Element to the Master Plan. 6. Encourage the concept of “wetlands banking,” that would enable properties in the Borough restricted from development due to wetlands to transfer development to another suitable parcel. 7. Review potential redevelopment sites in accordance with the provisions of the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law. The following amendments to the Zoning Ordinance were proposed in order to implement the recommendations of the 1997 Report: 1. Permit professional offices conversions for existing one- and two-family homes as conditional uses along Orient Way from East Passaic Avenue to the Train Station area. 2. All new street level establishments fronting on Park Avenue between Passaic Avenue/Chestnut Street and the Train Station at Erie Avenue should be of a retail business nature. 3. Create “Theater Overlay District” in the area bounded by Park Avenue, Glen Road, Orient Way and Spring Dell. 4. Permit apartments above certain types of businesses within the B-1, B-2 and B-3 Zoning Districts, particularly with respect to the Park Avenue Business District. 5. Permit warehousing and retail uses in the B-2 Zoning District. 6. Auto repair facilities and service stations should not be included among the permitted uses on Park Avenue between Borough Hall and the Train Station plaza. 7. Truck repair facilities should not be included among the permitted uses in the ORD Zoning District.

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BOROUGH OF RUTHERFORD Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance Reexamination Report 2.2 Extent of Increase or Reduction of Problems and Objectives

1997 Reexamination Report Recommended Changes Update 1977 Land Use Plan Element The 1977 Land Use Plan Element has not been updated since the adoption of the 1997 Report. Many of the issues cited in the 1997 Report and outlined in this Reexamination Report are still a priority for the Borough. The potential impacts of FDU vacating its Rutherford campus have been eliminated since Felician College moved into the campus in 1997 and became fully operational in 2001. Address SAMP proposals prepared by HMDC (NJMC) Having acquired a new name since the 1997 Report, the NJMC has abandoned the SAMP and embarked on a new Master Plan and Zoning Regulations. The Borough has actively cooperated with the NJMC during this Master Plan update. In addition to the recommendations for the Rutherford portion of the NJMC District, there are two redevelopment areas – Highland Cross and Golf Course – designated by the NJMC. Adoption of the NJMC Master Plan and Zoning Regulations is expected by 2004. Update Housing Element On April 17, 1997, the Planning Board adopted a Housing Plan Element and Fair Share Plan. This report indicated that Rutherford’s Fair Share Obligation under the New Jersey Fair Housing Act was reduced to 103 units, all of which would be provided through rehabilitation. Credits were provided for affordable housing developments built after 1980 and for existing group home facilities. On July 22, 2003, the Housing Plan Element and Fair Share Plan was endorsed by a resolution of the Rutherford Mayor and Council. A copy of the resolution and Plan was filed with COAH without a petition for substantive certification. Ongoing Recommendations from Previous Reexamination Reports Off-street parking at the west end of Union Avenue shopping district between Carmita and Raymond Avenues is no longer under consideration. Student housing issues have not been addressed, even though Felician College is operating at the campus formerly occupied by FDU. Redevelopment designation for the FDU and Boiling Springs sites are no longer under consideration. Land Use Plan Recommendations from 1997 Report The status of the recommendations for the land use plan element is as follows: “Change designation of block including former Bellavia Chevrolet property to ‘Planned Neighborhood Mixed Use’ and ‘Moderate Density Single-Family Residential.’” No change was made in the land use designation of this block. In 2001, the Board of Adjustment approved a use variance application to develop 16 residential townhouse dwelling units on this block.

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“Change designation of FDU campus to reflect surrounding residential development.” Since the campus is now operated by Felician College, no changes in land use designation have been made. “Designate DPW facility parcels as ‘Planned Commercial Development’ if the DPW relocates to another site.” A new DPW garage facility is under construction in the Highland Cross Redevelopment Area and is expected to be open in 2004. No final decisions have been made regarding the future land use designation of the current DPW garage. “Creation of a ‘Theater Overlay Zone’ in the area surrounding the Williams Center.” The “Theater Overlay Done” is not under consideration at this time. In concert with the Park Avenue Business District improvements and the Boiling Springs Development currently under construction, the Williams Center is one of many key assets considered part of the overall “downtown” development rather than as one separate section. “Change land use designations along Erie Avenue and Meadow Road, from Feronia Way to Wall Field at Highland Cross.” No changes have been made in these areas since the adoption of the 1997 Report. “Amend zoning ordinance to permit 12 story buildings in the ORD Zoning District.” The ORD Zoning District still retains a maximum building height of 10 stories or 140 feet. Studies and Actions Recommended by Planning Board The status of the studies and actions recommended in the 1997 Report are as follows: “Recommendation of SAMP report findings.” The SAMP findings are no longer applicable since the NJMC has abandoned the SAMP for a new Master Plan that is currently under review. “Further review the Regional Center designation proposed in the State Plan.” No review has been undertaken nor has an application been submitted to the Office of State Planning (OSP) for Regional Center designation.

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“Prepare an Historic Preservation Plan Element”. The recommended Historic Preservation Plan Element has not been prepared. At this time, the Historic Preservation Advisory Board is undertaking a review of sites contained in the report completed by Bergen County in 1980-1981. The new findings may serve as a resource for a future update of the Historic Preservation Plan Element. “Encourage within the Park Avenue Business District development of a compact scale and enhancement of pedestrian friendly linkages.” Since the 1997 Report, streetscape improvements in the Park Avenue Business District have provided a uniform setting. Façade and sign ordinances are now generally consistent with the design standards as outlined by the Rutherford Downtown Partnership. Signage area requirements are based on length of building frontage as opposed to a “one size fits all” approach for all buildings regarding less of size, permitting greater flexibility in sign design. Zoning regulations with regards to bulk and parking requirements have not been amended in any significant fashion. “Prepare an updated Housing Element to the Master Plan.” The Planning Board adopted a Housing Plan Element and Fair Share Plan on April 16, 1997. On July 22, 2003, the Rutherford Mayor and Council adopted resolution endorsing the 1997 Housing Plan Element and Fair Share Plan. The resolution and Plan were filed with COAH without a petition for substantive certification. Encourage the concept of “wetlands banking,” that would enable properties in the Borough restricted from development due to wetlands to transfer development to another suitable parcel. The majority of parcels that would fit into this category are under the jurisdiction of the NJMC. New NJMC zoning regulations under consideration would permanently preserve large areas of environmentally sensitive land, including wetlands. Review potential redevelopment sites in accordance with the provisions of the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law. On June 24, 2003, the Rutherford Mayor and Council designated the following parcels as “an area in need of rehabilitation:” Block 73, Lots 7.01, 9, 10, 22.02, 22.03, and 23. These lots have street frontage along Park and Chestnut Avenues. A redevelopment plan will be drafted. Adoption of the plan is expected in 2004.

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Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments The status of proposed Zoning Ordinance amendments recommended in the 1997 Report is as follows: “Permit professional offices conversions for existing one- and two-family homes as conditional uses along Orient Way from East Passaic Avenue to the Train Station area.” Professional offices are currently a permitted principal use along Orient Way from East Passaic Avenue to Station Square. “All new street level establishments fronting on Park Avenue between Passaic Avenue/Chestnut Street and the Train Station at Erie Avenue should be of a retail business nature.” Permitted uses in this area, which includes the B-3 and B-3/SH Zoning Districts, include local retail uses, banks, business and professional offices, private clubs and lodges, community centers and non-profit organizations, and public facilities. Nothing in the current Zoning Ordinance specifically limits street level establishments to uses of a “retail business nature.” “Create Theater Overlay District.” No Theater Overlay District has been included in the Zoning Ordinance. “Permit apartments above certain types of businesses within the B-1, B-2 and B-3 Zoning Districts.” In 1999, the Zoning Ordinance was amended to permit residential apartments as an “additional permitted accessory use” in the B-1, B-2, B-3 and B-3/SH Zoning Districts. These apartments are not permitted on the ground floor or basement area, must receive a certificate of occupancy prior to a change in occupancy, and are not permitted in a structure where the permitted retail use is the dry cleaning of clothing or material. “Permit warehousing and retail uses in the B-2 Zoning District.” Warehousing and retail sales are permitted uses in the B-2 Zoning District, which is on the northbound side of Route 17 north of Highland Cross. “Auto repair facilities and service stations should not be included among the permitted uses in the Park Avenue Business District.” Auto repair facilities and service stations are permitted conditional uses in the B-1, B-3 and B-3/SH Zoning Districts. Each of these zoning districts is located within the Park Avenue Business District. “Truck repair facilities should not be included among the permitted uses in the ORD Zoning District.” Truck repair is not included among the permitted uses in the ORD Zoning District.

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2.3

Extent of Significant Changes in Assumptions, Policies and Objectives Population Changes

2000 U.S. Census The demographic data contained in the 1997 Report is based on the 1990 U.S. Census. Since the 2000 Census has been conducted, a comprehensive demographic analysis should be undertaken in conjunction with any comprehensive master plan update. The changes in Borough population during the 1990s are outlined in Table 1 as follows:
Table 1: Population Growth – Borough of Rutherford 1990 2000 17,790 18,110 Total Population +1.8% since 1990 % Increase

The 2000 Census showed a population increase in Rutherford for the first time since the 1970 Census, when the Borough reached its population peak of 20,802. Population growth in Rutherford included large increases in the Asian and Hispanic populations. Since 1990, the Asian population has almost doubled and now comprises over 11 percent of Rutherford residents. At the same time, Rutherford’s Hispanic population has increased approximately 50 percent. One of four Rutherford residents identifies with a racial/ethnic group other than non-Hispanic Whites, a larger percentage than in the 1990 Census, reflecting the increasing diverse population of the Borough. Table 2 outlines the population distribution along racial and ethnic origin categories as follows:
Table 2: Population by Racial and Ethnic Origin – Borough of Rutherford 1990 U.S. Census Data 2000 U.S. Census Data Total Percentage Total Percentage 15,124 85.0% 13,696 75.6% White 490 2.8% 475 2.6% Black/African-American 1,128 6.3% 2,054 11.3% Asian 19 0.1% 330 1.9% Other (see Notes 1 & 2) 1,029 5.8% 1,555 8.6% Hispanic/Latino* Note 1: 1990 US Census Data “Other” includes reporting as American Indian, Eskimo or Aleut, and Other Race Note 2: 2000 US Census Data “Other” includes reporting as American Indian and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, Some Other Race, and Two or More Races. *Hispanic/Latino can be any race

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The Borough’s median household income increased from $46,499 in 1990 to $63,820 in 2000, a 37.2 percent increase. Many residents moved to Rutherford to take advantage of its close proximity to New York City. Some of these residents have been employed in the high-growth sectors of the 1990s, particularly finance and information technology. Over the last decade, the Borough also experienced an increase in per capita income of almost 50 percent. The income data reflects a significant change in the economic characteristics of many of Rutherford’s residents. Table 3 outlines the median household and per capita income data for the Borough.
Table 3: Median Household and Per Capita Income – Borough of Rutherford 1990 2000 $46,499 $63,820 Median Household Income $20,579 $30,495 Per Capita Income

For the first time since the 1970 Census, the percentage of Rutherford residents under 18 years of age increased. Reversing several decades of decline, the percentage of residents under 18 years of age climbed from 19 percent in 1990 to 20.5 percent in 2000. Reflecting the need for improved school facilities, the Rutherford Board of Education proposed a plan to fund improvements with a combination of state aid and bonds to be approved in a referendum. On September 24, 2002, the voters approved the referendum on improvements designed to modernize and expand Rutherford’s public school facilities. Although the percentage of senior citizens (65 years and over) in the Borough, approximately 15 percent of the Borough’s population, did not experience significant growth during the last decade, the nation as a whole is experiencing a “graying” of the population. This trend may change as the “baby boom” generation, those born between 1946 and 1964, reaches “senior citizen age” and places a greater demand on community services and senior housing. County Planning Policies Bergen County Master Plan Bergen County adopted its current Master Plan in 1973. A comprehensive review of this Master Plan is under consideration. Rutherford should stay informed about County planning activities and how they relate to the Borough, particularly regarding land use and transportation issues.

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State Planning Policies New Jersey Transit Village Initiative In 1999, Rutherford was designated by the State of New Jersey as a “Transit Village,” as a result of its close proximity to New York City and the public transportation options available that link its residents to New York and other commercial centers throughout the region. One reason for this designation is that Rutherford serves a key transportation center in the region. With direct access to the Secaucus Junction Train Station, area residents will have available a convenient connection to the Northeast Corridor, with access to New York City, Newark Airport, and other New Jersey Transit train lines. The New Jersey Transit Village Initiative assists communities leverage more-private sector investment for redevelopment. NJ Transit and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) partner with other state agencies to provide technical assistance and resources to help communities implement the initiative. Transit village communities are given priority consideration for funding from programs such as NJDOT’s Local Aid for Centers program, the Transportation Enhancements program, and Bicycle and Pedestrian projects, among others. Rutherford was the subject of two studies: Station Square: Pedestrian Compatibility Study for the Borough of Rutherford, March 2001; and Transit Friendly Communities for New Jersey: Creating a New Station Square, July 2001. These studies focused on the area around Station Square and creating a more pedestrian friendly atmosphere to encourage transit-oriented development. The primary circulation improvement at Station Square is the construction of a modern “roundabout” to replace the existing traffic circle. Funded by a combination of County, State and local funds, the roundabout is intended to facilitate a more pedestrian friendly atmosphere and control the flow of traffic at this key section of the Borough. The roundabout is scheduled for completion at end of 2003. State Development and Redevelopment Plan (“State Plan”) In March 2001, the State Planning Commission (SPC) re-adopted the current State Development and Redevelopment Plan. The State Plan provides direction for investing and spending state dollars in ways that are consistent with the State Plan’s goals. The State Plan has identified the entire Borough of Rutherford as part of a Regional Center with Carlstadt, East Rutherford, Wallington and Wood-Ridge. A “Regional Center” is defined as “a settlement or location for development along or near a transportation corridor.”1 This designation is due to these communities proximity to Route 17, the NJ Transit Bergen Rail Line, and other major highways. Almost all of Rutherford not under the jurisdiction of the NJMC is located in the Metropolitan Planning Area (PA-1).
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New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan, adopted March 2001, p. 306.

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The goals and objectives outlined in the 1997 Report are generally consistent with the goals and concepts set forth by the State Plan although those goals should be reviewed to address current land use and planning issues. Centers and plans designated and endorsed by the State Planning Commission are deemed eligible for priority assistance from the State. The Borough should seek “Plan Endorsement” when it conducts a comprehensive update of its Master Plan. In 2003, Rutherford has been awarded a “Smart Growth” Planning Grant to conduct a “visioning process” of the community. This project will involve public and private stakeholders in developing a short- and long-term planning policy statement and agenda for the Borough. The visioning process is the first step toward a comprehensive revision of the Borough’s Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance. “BIG Map” In 2002, the State Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) unveiled the “BIG Map,” the purpose of which was to guide development to areas with infrastructure and away from environmentally sensitive areas. Most of the area under the planning jurisdiction of the Borough was designated “green,” which in this case meant it was appropriate for development. As of October 2003, the NJDEP has indicated that the BIG Map is no longer under consideration. Rather, the NJDEP is proposing to introduce rules that will permit NJDEP regulators to scrutinize development proposals in environmentally sensitive areas and fast track those in places designated for growth. The Borough should remain informed of developments regarding these regulations. Residential Site Improvement Standards On June 3, 1997, the New Jersey Administrative Code was amended to include the Residential Site Improvement Standards (RSIS) (N.J.A.C 5:21 et seq.). RSIS supersedes many local design standards for new residential development, including local standards for number of parking spaces and new roadways. Upon the Borough’s preparation of a new Master Plan, the Circulation Element should be amended to include the residential street hierarchy system set forth by the RSIS. Further, the Borough’s Zoning Ordinance should be reviewed to determine if the RSIS residential parking requirements are appropriate given the local pattern of development or if the Borough should seek a waiver from said standards. This is specifically applicable to any proposals for the provision of mixed use in the “downtown” area along and near Park Avenue and at Station Square. Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) In August 2003, COAH has announced proposed rule changes providing a new methodology to determine the “third round” affordable housing obligation of all New Jersey municipalities. The new methodology proposes determining a municipality’s obligation using a “growth share” and “rehabilitation share.”

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The growth share would determine the affordable housing unit obligation based on projected growth, with one affordable housing unit for every 10 dwelling units developed and one affordable housing unit for every 30 jobs created. The rehabilitation share would be based on the number of units identified by COAH as substandard from 2000 U.S. Census information. The third round would include the period 1999 through 2014. Credits for the provision of senior citizen housing will increase, as well as opportunities to provide for units through regional contribution agreements. The rule changes are anticipated to take effect early 2004. The Borough should consider updating its housing element. Development within the jurisdiction of the NJMC will also be counted toward the Borough’s growth share affordable housing obligation. During the first two rounds of COAH’s affordable housing obligation, the NJMC took the position that the municipalities were directly responsible. Given the role NJMC has in the future growth within the boundaries of Rutherford, especially with the potential for significant development in the Highland Cross and Golf Course Redevelopment Areas, the Borough should urge the NJMC to take the actions necessary to assist its municipalities to satisfying its obligation. Such assistance could include technical planning assistance, permitting development fee ordinances to include development within the NJMC jurisdiction, and permitting the “fast tracking” of rezoning of appropriate properties to provide areas for affordable housing development, among other possible assistance. New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Planning Policies New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) Master Plan For the first time since 1970, the NJMC is drafting a new Master Plan to guide development within the NJMC District. The recommendations of the new Master Plan will be the basis for amended zoning regulations. There are three zoning districts and two redevelopment areas within the Rutherford section under the jurisdiction of the NJMC. Most of the land within the NJMC District is designated as “Redevelopment Area,” specifically Highland Cross (RA-3) and Golf Course (RA-4). The Highland Cross Redevelopment Area, designated in concert with the Borough since it includes parcels under the jurisdiction of the both the Borough and the NJMC. The redevelopment plan was adopted by the NJMC in November 1998 and amended March 2001. Recommended uses are mixed use commercial, including office, hotel, restaurant and accessory retail. A new Borough DPW garage is to be located in the Highland Cross Redevelopment Area.

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The Rutherford section of the Golf Course Redevelopment Area (redevelopment plan adopted February 2001, amended September 2001 and July 2002) will include active adult housing, office and other commercial uses in addition to the golf course. Issues the Borough should work with the NJMC on minimizing any potential negative impacts, including traffic circulation and access issues. North of Route 3, most of the NJMC parcels are proposed to be designated Light Industrial-A (LI-A). Permitted uses include light industry, office, self-storage facilities, research and development facilities, and business services, among other uses. South of Route 3, the proposed zoning designations include Commercial Park (CP) and Environmental Conservation (EC). Commercial Park permitted uses include offices, hotels and other business services. The Environmental Conservation Zone is designed to preserve wetlands and other critical environmental features. Adoption of the NJMC Master Plan and Zoning Regulations is expected by 2004. The Borough should work with the NJMC to ensure that striking a balance between preservation of environmentally sensitive land and the potential for economic development is a priority. Federal Policies Telecommunications Act of 1996 The Federal Government passed the Telecommunications Act in 1996. This Act requires all municipalities to permit wireless telecommunications providers with a reasonable opportunity to provide their service to the general public. Further, this Act prohibits the exclusion of such facilities based on health and safety concerns. In 2001, the Borough amended its Zoning Ordinance to include guidelines regarding placement of wireless telecommunication facilities. Wireless telecommunications facilities are a permitted use on Borough property and facilities, including the Police Station where the communications tower was replaced by a monopole that includes wireless telecommunications facilities. This use is permitted as a conditional use on existing non-residential structures not located in a residential zoning district, on existing towers, and new towers in non-residential zoning districts subject to setback and other requirements. The Borough should determine if the current regulations are governing placement in a way that balances the general welfare of the residents with the needs of FCC-licensed wireless providers should be considered.

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2.4

Specific Changes Recommended for the Master Plan or Zoning Ordinance

The following items have been identified as areas and issues that may merit further examination or changes to the Borough’s Master Plan and/or Zoning Ordinance. Land Use Element A review of land use goals and objectives should be undertaken to determine what changes should be considered in order to determine current development patterns and trends. Conducting a Borough-wide land use study would also permit the determination of the level of non-conforming uses that exist, with particular attention paid to the impact on residential neighborhoods. An assessment of current zoning and planning issues should be included in a new Land Use Element. Among the areas that should be given specific attention include the following: “Downtown” Rutherford, in particular the Park Avenue business district and the potential for mixed use development to compliment the Boiling Springs Development and take advantage of the available transportation resources. Redevelopment potential of the “West End” business district on Union Avenue, given its location along the NJ Transit 190 Bus Route. “Gateway” corridor area along Meadow Road to Route 17. Parcels located in the B-1 Business District, their compatibility with the surrounding area and development potential given current zoning. Commercial and light industrial parcels on the eastern side of Route 17. Determination of location of underutilized parcels and best potential use. Upon completion of the land use plan element of the updated Master Plan, consideration to consolidate some of the zoning districts would reflect a more uniform plan of development for the Borough. Population/Demographics As part of the Master Plan update, a comprehensive demographic review should be undertaken to provide an accurate portrait of the social and economic characteristics of the Borough.

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Housing Plan Element The third round affordable housing obligation of the Borough, intended to cover the period from 1999 through 2014, would be addressed through this plan element. Any update would be subject to the adoption of rule changes by COAH. Should “growth share” remain a key part of the third round obligation, the Borough should encourage the NJMC to provide assistance in developing a new housing plan element since any development in the NJMC District would impact the Borough’s affordable housing obligation. Circulation Plan Element An updated circulation plan element should address how ongoing and potential improvements – including the modern roundabout at Station Square and the opening of the Secaucus Transfer Train Station – will impact the Borough’s circulation patterns. Said plan should ensure that the transportation network adequately and efficiently handles all proposed revitalization efforts. Parking management is a key issue for the Borough. The inclusion of the Boiling Springs Development parking garage into the potential parking inventory requires management issues in order to ensure that parking facilities are efficiently utilized. This issue requires further review as part of the circulation element. Other ongoing circulation issues that require review includes the NJDOT Route 3 widening project and the impacts of development in the Highland Cross and Golf Course Redevelopment Areas. Community Facilities Plan Element The Borough should prepare a general assessment of existing community facilities and determine what areas are in need of short- and long-term improvements. New and/or improved facilities should take into account any assistance the Borough could receive, including monies from the State School Construction Bond Act, Green Acres funds for parks and open space preservation, and other State and Federal assistance that could aid in the improvement of community facilities. Recreation and Conservation Plan Elements A Master Plan update should provide an inventory of park and recreation areas available to the Borough, including an assessment of facilities provided. Parcels that could be acquired for recreational purposes should be identified. Cooperation with the NJMC, which has planning jurisdiction over a large portion of the Borough’s environmentally sensitive land, is encouraged.

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Economic Plan Element The Borough may consider an economic plan measuring the commercial activity occurring in Rutherford. Specifically, the emphasis would be on employment and the types of jobs generated within the Borough. Projections on job growth in Rutherford will be important if the proposed “growth share” methodology for the third round affordable housing obligation is adopted. Historic Preservation Plan Element An historic preservation element based on the Historic Preservation Advisory Board’s current a review of potential sites of historic value should be considered. The Borough has many residences and other structures that may have distinct architectural and/or historical value. This element would provide recommendations on how to best preserve historically and architecturally significant structures. Conclusion Rutherford has changed dramatically since the 1977 Plan. Given its location in the region, transportation resources, and infrastructure, the Borough is poised to accommodate new growth. Downtown Rutherford offers opportunities for mixed-use development as part of its growing role as a transportation hub. The West End along Union Avenue also presents challenges for the Borough as the demand for redevelopment of underutilized parcels increased. Potential for development and redevelopment throughout the Borough, including that under NJMC jurisdiction, will chart the course of Rutherford for years to come. In addition to potential development and redevelopment in the non-residential areas of the Borough, there continues to be concerns about how to preserve the character of Rutherford’s neighborhoods. Keeping the character of the “Borough of the Trees” intact will play a key role in continuing Rutherford’s image as a desirable community to live in and invest. Given these circumstances, a comprehensive review and updating of the 1977 Plan is recommended.

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2.5

Recommendations Concerning the Incorporation of Redevelopment Plans Adopted

On August 4, 1998, the Borough has designated the Highland Cross Redevelopment Area as an area “in need of redevelopment” pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, P.L. 1992, c. 79 (C.40A:12 A-1 et al.). This redevelopment area was developed in concert with the NJMC. Most of the parcels declared as an area in need of redevelopment are under the jurisdiction of the NJMC. On December 1, 1998, the Rutherford Mayor and Council adopted the Highland Cross Redevelopment Plan. The following parcels are included in the Highland Cross Redevelopment Area: Borough jurisdiction: Block 219 - Lots 53, 54, 55, 56.01, 56.02, 58.01, 58.02, 59; Block 219.02 – Lots 60, 60.01; Block 224 - Lot 3.01 NJMC jurisdiction: Block 219.02 – Lots 62, 63, 65.01, 65.02, 65.04, 65.05, 65.06, 65.07, 66.05, 67.04; Block 223 – Lots 6.04, 8.02; Block 224 – Lots 3.02, 4, 5 The resolution discussed two phases of the redevelopment process. “Phase I” is governed by the Redevelopment Plan adopted by the Borough and the NJMC. Most of the parcels in Phase I are located in the NJMC District. Recommended uses are mixed use commercial, including office, hotel, restaurant and accessory retail. A new Borough DPW garage is to be located in the Phase I area. Most of the parcels designated for “Phase II” are under Borough jurisdiction. No plan was developed for this area. The resolution adopting the Redevelopment Plan recommended that the Phase II properties be withdrawn from redevelopment consideration if no plan was submitted within a year of the Phase I Redevelopment Plan adoption. No plan was submitted and the Phase II properties were withdrawn from redevelopment consideration.

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